By Hamid Adedeji
The federal government has hiked the cost of the Combined Expatriate Residence Permit and Aliens Card (CERPAC) otherwise known as Green cards to $2,000, shocking foreign residents who wished to obtain the document.
The new price was effected last week without warning by the Ministry of Interior, a development that reportedly caught many foreigners unawares.
THISDAY learnt that many foreigners had visited the banks to pay the old rate of $1,000 for the card, but were informed that the document is now sold for $2,000.
The CERPAC card is mandatory for expatriates who are either residing or working in Nigeria or visiting for long periods (that is beyond 56 days) and seamen who stay ashore beyond 28 days.
The card which is produced by a firm, Continental Transfer Technique Limited for the Nigeria Immigration Service, is valid for a year.
The federal government generated N1.2 billion between 2016 and 2017 from the sale of the cards to foreigners.
Multiple sources explained that the foreigners were jolted by the price hike which they claimed ignorant of.
“Many of the foreigners could not obtain the card last week on hearing that the price had been hiked by 100 per cent by the Ministry of Interior. Most of them simply went back home because they were shocked by the development which they felt was uncalled for,” a source explained.
But the Director of Press, Ministry of Interior, Mohammed Manga, said he had no information on the development, promising to find out during the week.